Ex-councillor sees trial put on hold

THE trial of a former West Lothian councillor charged with embezzling more than £85,000 has been postponed until the autumn.

Gordon Beurskens, 49, denies taking the cash from an elderly couple’s bank accounts over a three-year period.

At Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Ken Hogg granted a defence motion to delay the trial from July until October.

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Police launched an investigation into the former West Lothian councillor’s finances in October 2009.

Beurskens is charged with obtaining a mandate to operate five bank accounts held by pensioners James and Janet McQue and using their bank cards to conduct online transactions and to make cash withdrawals.

In total, he is alleged to have embezzled £85,173.35 or thereby by withdrawing money from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Beurskens was an independent Action to Save St John’s Hospital councillor for Whitburn and Blackburn until he lost his seat in the May elections, and was also chair of the council’s audit committee.